From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The member of the House of Representatives, representing Aguata Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Chukwuma Umeoji, has charged the Federal Government to release detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) as means of addressing current security and social-economic challenges in the South East.
Umeoji, who is also the All Progressives Congress ( APC) senatorial candidate for Anambra South senatorial zone, said the Monday sit-at-home and mandatory sit-at-home any day Kanu is scheduled to appear in court, and the violence that accompanies the enforcement is crippling social-economic activities in the zone.
The lawmaker noted that the release of the IPOB leader will help to reduce political tension in the South East, as well as free the soldiers engaged in operations in area to be deployed to other parts of the country under constant attacks by terrorists. He added that of all the problems in the various geo-political zones across the country, that of the South East is the easiest to solve.
“ The government should as a matter of urgency do all within its powers to release Nnamdi Kanu from detention in view of the increasing concern about his health and prevent and save the total collapse of the economic and social activities in the South east.
According to him, “the Monday sit at home and the mandatory sit at home on court days have stifled economic activities. The violence accompanying the enforcement of the sit at home has made it impossible for people to visit the villages for social functions. The rural markets and the entertainment industry have collapsed since there is no capital flow from the urban areas. Most worrisome is the speed with which small and medium scale enterprise are migrating to other zones.
“The release of Nnamdi Kanu will stop the sit at home and revive the economy of the South East. The release will reduce political tension as well as free the soldiers engaged in operations in the South East to be deployed to other volatile areas where there is constant attack by international terrorist organisations.”
Umeoji, while noting that the agitation in the South East is a fallout of the marginalization of the zone in key government and capital projects, said the solution to the security challenges in the area lies in dialogue and constructive engagement and not force of arms.
According to him, “the government of President Mohammad Buhari has done well in the area of roads maintainence in the South East crowned by the completion and commissioning of the landmark second Niger Bridge by the end of this year. The release of Nnamdi Kanu will also be recorded as another historical gesture by the government to the people of the zone.
“The solution to the security challenge of the South East be addressed by dialogue and constructive engagement not by force of arms. The agitations grew out of clear cases of marginalization of the Igbos in key government appointments and major capital projects. The lack of the presence of the national rail lines, gas pipeline projects and functional sea port in the South East and South South zones are part of the problems.
“There is also the lack of adherence to the constitutional principle of Federal Character in recruitment in Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals; the perceived unwillingness to operate true federalism and the restructuring of certain sections of the constitution.
“There is a general acceptance that policing, power; mining should be handled by the states. The revenue generation should be a major consideration in the allocation of resources to stimulate resourcefulness and competition.